What is #adulting all about? 🤔
Adulting means putting all this optimisation towards one sole purpose.
You may be saying: ‘Right, I’m saving regularly now, I’m making a bit of an income and I’m getting on with university’
But for which purpose?
What am I saving this money for?
What am I supposed to do with life?
Yep, very scary questions. But it’s ok, I’ve got a few things to help you out here.
1. Build the right skills
As we mentioned in ‘Making money’, you don’t want to be taking the first job you find, you need to find something that fits you best. And how do you do that? Through exploration. This means using strategies to figure out what career path will combine all necessary factors for you to be happy. And in the meantime, you also want to be building skills, so you can start building career capital early on and help you find the career you want in the future.
The thing is, your twenties are for building skills, not making money. This is simply because the better and more skilled you are, the more money you will make in the future. This is what people mean when they say ‘Invest in yourself’. You will be reaching the peak of your career in your 40s and 50s, and the more skills you’ll have built by that time, the more money you’ll be making.
Building those skills early on also sets you up for the near future. Start building those income streams in your twenties, and you’ll have enough passive income to cover your expenses in your thirties. 💁♀️
So which skills should I be building? Financially Mint is a constant work in process, so I’m still learning the paths myself. So far, here are two skills which I feel are essential to build in your twenties:
- Tech skills
- People management skills
Check out the blog posts which walk you through the why and how to build those skills... 😛
2. Keep exploring
You’re now building skills, awesome! But in order to figure out the career that fits you best, you also need to do some exploring. Most career advice goes along the lines of ‘follow your passion!’ and ‘do what you love!’. This is pretty bad advice for a few reasons:
- Your passions change. What you love at 20 you may not love at 25
- Most passions don’t fit in the world of work (only 3% of jobs include sport, arts and music)
- Humans are bad at predicting what makes them happy - mostly it’s the conditions in your job that make you happy (commute, co workers, etc), not the job itself.
But there is a small element of truth to this advice; you do want to be doing something you enjoy, that you feel follows your talents, abilities and enjoyments. However, it really is not easy to figure out what you enjoy, especially in your twenties when you feel you have to keep making life decisions. 🤷♀️
As we saw before, mostly it’s the job conditions (co workers, commute, etc) that make us happy, not the job itself. This means that you shouldn’t be looking inwards, to yourself, and asking yourself ‘what am I passionate about?’. You need to do the opposite: go out there and look at all the jobs and their conditions, and think: would I fit in that job?
Ideally, the career you pick will allow 3 things so you can maximise exploration:
- To keep your options open (studying maritime law, for example, does not keep your options open)
- To build career capital (this job must give you skills, connections to make, etc)
- That allows you to explore even further
So here’s a quick rundown to actually picking a career path:
- Write down several career paths that you might be interested in.
- Figure out whether they meet the three criteria above (keep options open, build career capital, allow further exploration) and eliminate those that don’t.
- Talk to people already in those careers and see how you can test the career itself (internship, interviews, etc).
- Investigate, investigate, investigate. Learn as much as you can about these different jobs and see if they are something you see yourself doing.
Treat your career like a scientist; continuously testing hypotheses.
3. Get a career with the best personal fit
You’ve probably narrowed down your options to a few career options now. You want to be learning and investigating as much as you can on these few options to be sure what you’re getting at.
Here are 5 predictors of job satisfaction:
- Sense of completion
- Feedback from the job
Take those 5 things into account when getting a job offer or analysing whether you’ll like the job or not.
And here are 3 questions you can also ask yourself to determine this is the career path you want to be following:
- How do I personally fit with this job?
- What’s my impact while I’m working at this job?
- How does this job contribute to my impact later on in life?
Following this 3 step framework of building skills, exploring and getting a career with best personal fit is real adulting. It’s being in control of your career. No more complaining about a job you hate, or that you feel you're wasting your time. And most important of all, understand that your career is work in progress. Build the skills, experience and connections early on, make the real money later. 😉🤑
Whether you want to retire early or not, investing is an essential part to #adulting. Why? Because believe it or not, you will reach a point in your life where you won’t have as much energy or ability to work - yes, the granny stage 👵
Being broke when young is one thing, but being broke when old is something no one wants.
But the good news is it’s very simple and easy to set up. Remember that % you put away when you set up your budgeting plan? What if you put a part of that towards investing?
We talk about Ben and Jill on the first page - you saw how Jill had nearly double the savings of Ben just because she started at 20 instead of 30. And that’s just by putting £100/month away - what if you could put more?!
This is the whole concept behind Financial Independence. A concept I love so much I manage a podcast about it with two other friends (check it out the FI Podcast 😜)
If you decide to be Anne and get a higher paying job, you want to make sure you’re putting as much as you can towards investments, so you can then reach financial independence and spend your days doing whatever you want, withdrawing from your investments every year (check out the maths behind this here).
This is why I’m always recommending young adults in their twenties to get started with investing as soon as they can - your future self will be eternally grateful (👵 -> happy 60 year old you)
To learn more about investing, check out these posts:
And once you've got all that under control... learn how to optimise even more your money: set up a business, legally reduce your taxes and invest in other countries.
This is still a pretty new category as I learn more and more myself, however it's a fascinating subject and the earlier you learn about it the earlier you can implement money strategies to actually keep more of your own money.
So there you go! I continuously post helpful articles on the blog - to make sure you get notified of new posts and exclusive content, pop in your email below. Don’t worry, I never spam 😉